On this day, June 27 …
2018: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was often the deciding vote on abortion, gay rights and other controversial issues, announces his retirement. (Kennedy’s departure would lead to the nomination and bitter confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh.)
Also on this day:
- 1844: Mormon leader Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, are killed by a mob in Carthage, Ill.
- 1880: Helen Keller, who lived most of her life without sight or hearing, is born in Tuscumbia, Ala.
- 1974: President Richard Nixon opens an official visit to the Soviet Union.
- 1988: Mike Tyson retains the undisputed heavyweight crown, knocking out Michael Spinks 91 seconds into the first round of a championship fight in Atlantic City, N.J.
- 1991: Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first black jurist to sit on the nation's highest court, announces his retirement. (His departure would lead to the contentious nomination of Clarence Thomas to succeed him.)
- 2005: The Supreme Court rules, in a pair of 5-4 decisions, that displaying the Ten Commandments on government property is constitutionally permissible in some cases but not in others.
- 2005: “BTK” serial killer Dennis Rader pleads guilty to 10 murders that had spread fear across Wichita, Kan., beginning in the 1970s. (Rader would later receive multiple life sentences.)
- 2007: Tony Blair resigns as British prime minister after more than 10 years in power.
- 2008: Bill Gates steps down as chairman of Microsoft.
- 2017: Mark Zuckerberg announces that Facebook had passed 2 billion monthly users.